Yes, we’ve been pretty quiet over here at Alli & Genine over the Chrissy and New Year break. Genine was enjoying some precious pre-baby downtime with her hubby while I did the exact opposite – I frolicked with a million relatives, making the most of what may just have been our last family holiday with my dad.
So, off to the Gold Coast we went – and it was everything I desperately needed it to be. We played in the ocean, we dug holes, we built sandcastles, we swam in the pool, we listened to the waves, we stared at the moon, we said words that needed to be said, we laughed and cried, we hung out with aunts, uncles and cousins, we cuddled koalas and fed kangaroos, we ate, we drank, we drank some more … we made amazing memories (all with my laptop packed away in the closet – heaven!). We made memories I will hold in my heart forever.
One morning my son and I were swimming in the pool, as you do, and as we were splashing about we noticed a ladybeetle bobbing around in the water. I showed Hudson and we immediately commenced Operation Ladybeetle Rescue, swiftly scooping up the frightened little bug and popping her on the bricks around the pool to dry off and head off to wherever ladybeetles go after near-death experiences. The nearest ladybeetle pub for some stiff liquor? Not sure …
Yay us – we saved a lady beetle! Hudson was especially chuffed. I expected her to have a shake or two, dry off and quickly fly away – far, far away, away from that hideous mass of water that came dangerously close to taking her precious life. (And yes, all ladybeetles are girls in my books – far too pretty to be boys …)
We watched her intently, mustering all our positive energy and verbal encouragement to get off the ground. The poor little girl – she shook, she flapped, she shook again. Then she flapped some more. Nothing. She simply couldn’t fly!
Quickly I realised that Operation Ladybeetle Rescue was about to turn into Operation Watch Ladybeetle Die a Slow and Painful Death in the Hot Summer Sun. But bless her, she kept trying. She was like The Little Engine That Could. “I think I can, I think I can …”
Unexpectedly, all of a sudden I was overcome with emotions. Surely I wasn’t tearing up over a ladybeetle? I mean, yes, I’m a tad emotional … but really? A ladybeetle? That’s even extreme for me!
As I watched her continue to flap her tiny little wings, getting nowhere fast, unable to take flight, something in me resonated with that ladybeetle. I realised that I knew exactly how she felt.
I am in a place in my life where no matter how hard I flap, no matter how much I want to fly, I can’t. I chant “I think I can, I think I can” over and over, but still I can’t take off. And frankly, all that flapping is bloody exhausting.
Like that pretty little bug, I feel frustrated and helpless. I should be happy. I try to be positive and in “I know I can” rather than “I think I can” mode, but I think 2012 knocked a fair bit or wind out of my sails, or in the case of the ladybird, knocked a gallon of water onto my fragile wings.
There are so many things I can’t control. So many things I desperately want to change, and can’t. I can’t fix my dad. I can’t help my husband in the ways I so desperately want to help my husband. I want to get pregnant, but what if I can’t?
Flap, flap, flap.
Sure, things are progressing with Alli & Genine, but the impatient ladybeetle in me needs more – I need it to take off. Really take off. I so desperately want those big dreams to come true. Now. Please!
Flap, flap, flap.
The situation began to feel helpless. Hudson started to tear up too. “Mummy, why isn’t she flying away?” he asked me, with sad little eyes.
And just as I began to give up on that little ladybeetle, losing faith that she might just make it, she took off. Wow. Just like that. Off into the sky she went! Goodbye my beautiful little friend. “I know I can. I know I can!”
Hudson and I celebrated like we’d won lotto (and yes, the other people in the pool did look at us rather strangely – it was, after all, only a ladybeetle). Her determination paid off … she was free! She kept focused on her goal, she didn’t give up. She flapped like a mad woman!
Lesson learnt. I’m not to give up on myself. Or my business. Or my dad. Or my husband. Or my big dreams. No matter how much flapping I have to do, no matter how exhausted I feel, I will keep on keeping on. I will continue to “know I can” rather than just “thinking I can”.
I will fight. I will flap. I will fly. One day.
Happy New Year friends. May you all fly in 2013, just like that beautiful little ladybeetle who taught me an important life lesson.